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🦾 Is the AI wind starting to turn now?
If I had any hair, I would have torn it out over the past few months.
There has been a massive wave of doomsday rhetoric about AI, but far too few who have pushed back. Of course, the media has loved it and gladly interviewed them in depth about how the world is going to end.
I have tried to do my part and written several articles, but Warp News is too small a platform and I am not an established international name (working on it! 😃). Several influential people who disagree with the AI pessimists have not made an effort to really push back in the debate.
But now it has finally happened. Marc Andreessen addresses in a massive post all the main arguments from those who want to stop or slow down AI development: Why AI Will Save the World. (Here it is summarized, if you don't have time to read the whole thing right away.)
Andreessen is the creator of the first widely used web browser, Mosaic, and one of the founders of Netscape. He is among the first six people who were elected into the World Wide Web Hall of Fame. Now he is a co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Andreessen is a person many in the tech world listen to and the media knows who he is. This is not enough to turn the tide, but now all counterarguments are found in one place and brilliantly described. Perhaps it is enough to start turning the wind.
Why we need Warp Institute
This situation around AI is exactly why we need a really large, global community of fact-based optimists.
Tech panics of this kind bloom quite often and risk capsizing because the pessimists or doomers quickly gain the upper hand. Not by better arguments, but because of the massive amount of rhetoric they put out, eagerly cheered on by mass media.
If Warp were a community with a million people and resources to create good counterarguments and push these out, the debates would not tip over as easily. We would have a discussion, not a one-way communication.
If Warp were even larger than that, we would have vaccinated millions of people against doomsday rhetoric. Not so they don't listen, but they don't directly buy the arguments and get caught up in the panic. They stand firmly on a stable fact-based optimistic foundation.
It is my life's mission to ensure that it becomes so.
The Angry Optimist
🌎 X will not "save the world"
Ben Evans writes:
Quite a lot of AGI doomerism comes from the same place as tech solutionism - the idea that the world is simple, everyone else’s jobs are easy, and everything can be changed by this this one set of brilliant engineers with this one brilliant piece of technology.
New technologies can sometimes get too high hopes attached to them. When they then do not live up to the unrealistic expectations, the pendulum swings the other way and the technology is condemned, the problems are exaggerated, and it is used as an argument against other new technologies.
That is the only thing I am critical of in Marc Andreessen's AI text. AI will not save the world, as he writes: Why AI Will Save the World.
AI will contribute to a much better world with fewer problems, but AI will not, for example, democratize the whole world. It can be a tool that democracy activists use to fight against oppression, but AI will not remove an Erdogan or a Castro.
(By the way, I am very annoyed by the phrase "save the world". The world does not need saving. It is not about to end. Many problems remain, but the world is getting better and better.)
The Angry Optimist
📈 Everything you wanted to know about human progress
Jim O'Shaughnessy's Infinite Loops has spoken with Jason Crawford, who runs Roots of Progress. Crawford studies the history of progress to understand how it was created and how we can get more of it.
"...progress is not automatic or inevitable. We must understand its causes, so that we can keep it going, and even accelerate it.”
Please listen to the interview, but they have also done a very ambitious job and compiled a great research note on human progress.
Premium Supporter Gerd Leonhard's keynote on The Good Future of Education.
Warp News interview with Kevin Kelly